(The Daily Texan Online)

Pitcher who gave up Ruth’s 500th homer dies at 96

CLEVELAND – Willis Hudlin, the Cleveland Indians’ pitcher who gave up Babe Ruth’s 500th home run, has died. He was 96.

The Indians said Tuesday that Hudlin died on Aug. 5 in Little Rock, Ark.

He spent 15 of his 16 big-league seasons in Cleveland, and gave up Ruth’s 500th homer on Aug. 11, 1929, at League Park.

According to newspaper accounts, Ruth went to a Cleveland policeman working the game and said, “I’d kinda like to have that one.”

The ball had gone all the way out of the park and landed on Lexington Avenue, where the policeman found a boy who had retrieved it. He brought the youngster into the Yankees clubhouse, where Ruth exchanged an autographed ball and a crisp $20 bill for the memento.

The homer was Ruth’s 30th of the season. Lou Gehrig hit his 27th that day but, in typical Hudlin fashion, the right-hander won the game 6-5, pitching a complete-game nine-hitter.

Hudlin went 157-151 for the Indians from 1926-40. His most memorable game was a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox on June 23, 1931, in the second game of a doubleheader. Clint Brown allowed only five hits in a 13-0 Indians win in the first game. Hudlin won the nightcap 10-0.

Hudlin had a 158-156 career record and 154 complete games. In 1940, he became one of only eight players since 1900 to play for four teams in one season – the Indians, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and New York Giants.

His 475 games pitched ranks third on the Indians’ all-time list between Hall of Famers Bob Feller (570) and Bob Lemon (460). His 2,557 2/3 innings rank fourth.

Manager has no doubt Priestley will drive again

INDIANAPOLIS – As Jason Priestley recovered from head and spinal injuries sustained in a high-speed crash, his auto racing team manager said he had no doubt the actor would drive again.

”He’s a fighter, one of the toughest little guys I know,” Kelley Racing team manager Jim Freudenberg said less than 24 hours after the former Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob was seriously injured during practice at the Kentucky Speedway.

”He doesn’t give up easily. If I’m going to keep him out of a race car, it’s going to be a fight. That’s just the way he is.”

Priestley, 32, faces weeks of healing and rehabilitation but is expected to fully recover, doctors said Monday.

He was airlifted from the University of Kentucky Hospital to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis late Monday afternoon, and he remained in serious but stable condition Tuesday morning.

He had made previous arrangements to be transferred to the facility here, which has treated several other Indy Racing League drivers, in the event he was involved in a serious accident.

Compiled from Associated Press reports

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